Rosie O'Donnell Plots Major Return to TV With a New Showtime Role

Former View co-host will play mom to Frankie Shaw's main character

By Chris Harnick Nov 09, 2016 6:00 PMTags
Rosie O'DonnellChad Batka/Showtime

Rosie O'Donnell is plotting a major TV comeback. The former talk show host has joined the cast of Showtime's SMILF pilot.

O'Donnell, who made recent appearances on Mom and The Fosters, will play Tutu, Bridgett's (Frankie Shaw) mother. She's described as unapologetically herself and completely oblivious to standard social conventions. She's dedicated to her daughter and grandson, but it's not always up to Bridgette's standards. Right now SMILF is just a pilot, but if it goes to series, O'Donnell would be a series regular.

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SMILF is based on Shaw's short film, set in Boston it follows a 20-something whose desires for relationships, sex and careers don't always mesh up with the reality of her being a single mom. Samara Weaving and Cruz Cordova also star.

Along with O'Donnell's casting, the pilot has also added Alex Brightman as Jesse, a high school friend of Bridgette's who reconnects with his former crush. Kyle Vincent Terry will play Ben, a possible love interest for Bridgette and Graham Rogers will play David, a film student.

Shaw will write, star and produce in the semi-autobiographical pilot. Michael London of Sideways will executive produce alongside Janice Williams and The Office veterans Lee Eisbenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.

O'Donnell's other acting credits include A League of Their Own, Harriet The Spy, Web Therapy and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She'll appear in NBC's Hairpsray Live! this December.